14 May 2007

Oh dear....

Bristol university student Paddy Shuttleworth spotted an unassuming grey cotton T-shirt in his local Burton menswear shop, he was surprised by the Cyrillic writing surrounding the doubleheaded eagle motif which he was able to translate. Rather unfortunately, it read: "We will cleanse Russia of non-Russians!"

"I did mention to the girl as I bought one of the shirts, that it was politically probably quite dangerous," says Mr Shuttleworth. The shirt's overall design is an odd jumble of ersatz French logo and Russian iconography, but there is no mistaking the nature of the sentiment.

Initially Burton seemed surprised by the unsavoury sentiment lurking on its so-called Girlaun Print Crew shirt. But yesterday it emerged that the chain had been alerted to the gaffe by a member of staff. A spokeswoman told the Guardian the company had bought 6,000 of the T-shirts from one of their regular suppliers last week. At the time Burton was told the slogan translated loosely as "Be proud of Russia."
The t-shirt has now been withdrawn from sale.

Last year Ben and Jerry’s caused a minor stir over its Black and Tan flavour ice cream. Ben and Jerry’s did not follow up with a “No Surrender” range (orange flavour of course) and it is clear that Burton’s has no plan to introduce an “Arkan” line. I get the feeling, though, that that they will be proof-reading their T shirts in future....

7 comments:

Gert said...

On holiday in Egypt I saw a Russian woman a t-shirt saying 'White Power'. I was contemplating causing a scene. Later in the day, I saw her again and realised it said 'White Powder'. Hmm...

jams o donnell said...

Obviously she had a liking for talc, Gert!

Roland Dodds said...

I used to have a t-shirt that a whole bunch of Chinese characters on it, and now that I think about it, I never did know what those characters said. I could have been walking around with “look at this stupid honkey!” written all over me!

Pisces Iscariot said...

While working in Croatia I bought some work tee-shirts from a market stall only to discover (much to the amusement of my Croation colleagues) that the attractive eagle logo adorning my chest was in fact representative of the local neo-nazis.

jams o donnell said...

I wonder the same about the pictograms I have as tattoos, Roland.. probably means come and get it, sailor!

Opps Pisces.. not the best idea!

charismatic megafauna said...

At least this is just innocent misunderstanding. Every other person in the Bay Area seems to be sporting a Che Guevara shirt...sometimes I get to bring up in conversation something along the lines of "you are aware that the guy on your shirt was a hateful militant, right?" Gotta love it when people say "oh, it looks cool."

jams o donnell said...

I know what you mean about Che.. He bacame a fashion statement when he was a shit